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06 Jul 2022

West Coast councils seek sustainable solutions for construction and demolition waste

The Buller District Council, Grey District Council, Westland District Council (WDC), and the West Coast Regional Council (WCRC) have successfully secured up to $900,000 of funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) for the recovery, reuse, and reprocessing of construction and demolition waste on the West Coast.

Buller District Council’s solid waste management coordinator Juliana Ruiz says, “The four West Coast councils have partnered to secure the funding and get this project on its way.”

The Regional Recovery Network for Construction and Demolition Waste project’s main objective is recover and recycle construction and demolition waste.

WCRC’s consents and compliance manager Colin Helem says, “The focus is primarily on the recovery, reuse, and reprocessing of construction materials such as timber and steel to cut down the significant volumes of building waste entering landfills; it is not about building a landfill for construction and demolition waste.”

The project comprised three phases. Phase one is to establish the project structures and identify project stakeholders. Phase two encompasses evaluating the network’s feasibility. Phase three comprises of developing the infrastructure that will support the recovery, reuse, and reprocessing of the different construction and demolition waste streams.

Grey District Council’s utilities engineer and infrastructure manager Kurtis Perrin-Smith says, “We are currently putting in place the foundation and make sure key parties are involved.”

The Project Steering Group will include representatives from the four councils, mana whenua Ngāti Waewae and Makaawhio, and industry representatives from Mitre10 and Reefton-based demolition company Rosco Contractors Ltd.

WDC’s operations manager Erle Bencich says, “Consultant company Tonkin + Taylor will complete a feasibility study to test the project’s market viability with results expected at the end of the year.

The Project Steering Group and stakeholders will be engaged throughout the feasibility study.”

Once the feasibility study is completed the Project Steering Group and the Ministry for the Environment will decide on whether the study indicates any viable options.

Ms Ruiz says, “We target January 2023 to review the outcome of the feasibility study and decide how to proceed.”

The WMF supports projects in New Zealand that increase the reuse, recovery, and recycling of materials. The WMF was set up by central government and is financed out of waste disposal levies. 


further information please contact:

Buller District Council
Solid waste coordinator
Juliana Ruiz